During the first half of this year, oil prices rose sharply, prompting headlines suggesting the return to an era of high oil prices. The spot price for West Texas Intermediate crude increased from about $14 per barrel in December 1993 to a peak of more than $20 per barrel inJuly. World oil demand has picked up in response to increased economic activity. However, since the beginning of the yearindeed, over the last four years-world crude oil production has remained stable. Are we once again facing a protracted period of rising oil prices and oil-price-induced adjustments reminiscent of the 1970s and 1980s? A brief look at the historical record may shed some light on this question.